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The Sydney Bushwalker.

Established June 1931.

A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers Incorporated, Box 4476 GPO, Sydney, 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.45 pm at the Ella Community Centre, 58a Dalhousie Street, Haberfield (next to Post Office). Prospective members and visitors are invited to visit the Club on any Wednesday. To advertise in this magazine please contact the Business Manager.

EditorPatrick James, PO Box 170, Kogarah, 2217. Telephone 588 2614.
Business ManagerAnita Doherty, 2 Marine Cres., Hornsby Heights, 2077. Telephone 476 6531.
Production ManagerHelen Gray - telephone 86 8263.
TypistKath Brown.
IllustratorsMorag Ryder.
PrintersKenn Clacher, Morag Ryder, Barrie Murdoch, Deborah Shapira & Les Powell.

December 1988

In This Issue:

Editorial 2
The Minister ExplainsAlex Colley 3
Breezing Through the Budawangs with Bill (Capon)Morag Ryder 4
“Once Again the Wollangambe”Oliver Crawford 6
Walking in England & Wales - Part 3. The Dales Way & the Pennine WayAinslie Morris & Mike Reynolds 7
SBW in the Marquesas Islands - Part 4Frank Rigby11
Is This a Footnote?Jim Brown14
The November General MeetingBarry Wallace15
Fedn. B.W. Clubs NSW - November meetingSpiro Hajinakitas17
The SBW Dingo (?) StoryKath Brown17
Footnotes 18


Canoe & Camping - Gladesville & Kogarah Bay10
Belvedere Taxis - Blackheath14
Eastwood Camping Centre16

Deadline for February Issue - Articles 25 January '89, Notes 1 February.

Editorial - December 1988.

Another successful year for the Sydney Bushwalker. Twelve months and twelve editions all on time and in the total absence of anything to the contrary they must have been received with joy and acclaim by you, dear reader.

We at the Sydney Bushwalker wish all in SBW a merry Christmas. We also extend to all associated with the Sydney Bushwalker our thanks for your efforts in producing twelve issues of Sydney's leading bush walking magazine.

The Sydney Bushwalker is a team effort from authors to wrappers, some teams being bigger than others but all combine to bring you your monthly burst of sunshine to lighten your day and cheer your heart.

To our authors without whom the magazine would have been many pages of blank spaces, many thanks. Perhaps some of you will go on and write other articles or, once having found your creative writing urge, write a best seller. We are proud that you got your start with us.

Throughout the year the magazine has been illuminated with various drawings. To our illustrator Morag Ryder our thanks.

SBW Printing is still located in Alex's garage and our thanks go to Morag Ryder and Kenn Clacher for bearing the main printing load this year. Staff numbers at SBW Printing have expanded with the hiring of four devils; Barrie Murdoch, Margaret Niven, Les Powell and Debbie Shapira. These four imps have joined the team, spread the work and deserve our thanks. Thanks.

Next in line is the joint venture of SBW Operations and SBW Distribution led by Helen and George Gray. SBW Operations collate, staple and wrap the magazine. SBW Distribution addresses, sorts and posts the magazines. Our thanks to the large team who pick and pack the pieces of printed paper. An excellent example of gray power in action.

SBW Labelling is the team which produces the address labels for the magazine. Thanks to Dot Matrix, Barry Wallace and Dee Base too, for without the labels the magazine would never get to your door.

And finally Kath Brown, with the unassuming title of typist, who types the magazine, prepares the layout and reminds the Editor of all the things he has forgotten, please accept the Editor's special thanks.

So 1988 finishes, Australia's 200th year and SBW's 61st year. A happy and wonderful New Year to you all.

The Minister Explains.

by Alex Colley

It is quite a tribute to the conservation role of the SBW that busy Ministers find time to attend our dinners and meet us in the clubroom. The clubroom was packed with interested and attentive members when the Hon. Tim Moore, Minister for Conservation, addressed us and answered our many questions on 30th November.

After a formal welcome - we stood up when he arrived - which impressed him no end, his lucid descriptions and ready humour had everybody at ease. He gave a short talk, explaining his role in the Government, then invited questions.

The former Planning and Environment Ministry was separated into two Ministries by the new Government, which appointed a Minister for the Environment and a Minister for Planning, but one department - Planning and Environment - serves both, and the more important decisions are taken after discussion in Cabinet. His responsibility ranged from the green end of the spectrum, nature conservation, to the dirty end, pollution control.

One of his first acts was to bring Lord Howe Island under the supervision of the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Under the former Board there had been considerable environmental deterioration, particularly the pollution of the underground water supply, no longer fit for even the cattle. The 180 inhabitants of the island were divided into many factions (one candidate for election received just one vote), and after a two-day visit his ear lobes were pulverised.

The questions of club members covered a wide range of relevant topics. Mr. Moore pointed out quite fairly, that many of the present problems were inherited from the previous Government. One such question was on coastal development. One third of the coast line was within National Parks and this was being added to. Sixteen of the eighteen large-scale resort projects had been approved by the previous Government. Similarly the housing development at Friday Flat, Thredbo, was within the area designated for village development under the Kosciusko Plan of Management.

Additions continued to be made to the national parks system, and he expected some 70,000 ha would be added in the Government's first year. It was hoped to nominate Kosciusko alpine areas for World Heritage listing and the Blue Mountains was another possibility (The Colong Foundation is working on this).

On woodchipping, he said that the Government had made it clear in its election policy that Coolangubra and Tantawanglo parks would not be created, but that the Coolangubra catchment area would be protected and forestry flora reserves created. Only logs unsuitable for sawlogs would be chipped.

Several other topics were covered, including the preservation of the Pennant Hills redgum bushlands, off-road vehicles in parks (they will be allowed on some tracks) and the greenhouse effect.

Altogether a most informative hour, much appreciated by Club members.

Breezing Through The Budawangs With Bill (Capon).

Newhaven Gap - Quiltys Mtn - Mount Houghton - Mount Tarn - Hidden Valley - Mount Sturgiss - Newhaven Gap. 24/25 September 1988.

Ingrid Walker, Michelle Morgan, John Nagy, Jim Oxley, Geoff McIntosh, Peter Ireland, Ray Turton, Madelaine Graf, Morag Ryder, Judy Mahaffey, Debra Shapira, Bob Younger, Bill Capon - leader.

Story by Morag Ryder.

[ Comic Book Style ]

In fine, windy weather, we walked through the pretty wildflowers from Newhaven Gap to Quiltys Mountain…

“That was a pretty wildflower”

… to admire the views…

“Far out…” “Out of sight…” “Then wear your glasses…”

… and inspected the ceremonial Bora ground

“Attention please - is there a sacrificial virgin in the party?”

From there we went to the very end of Quilty's…

“Look - a U.F.O.” “No, that's Morag - away with the birds again.”

… and found a sheltered spot for lunch…

“Judy, that's the fifth carrot you've eaten…”

… while Bill looked for his gully, which would take us down to Styles Creek.

“I'm sure I left it here somewhere.”

The first part of the gully was a little tricky…

“Where do I put my feet?”

… but the rest was (relatively) easy.

“Erk!” “Why are you hanging up there?”

On the way to Mount Houghton we made a slight detour through a swamp.

“Have you seen Mount Houghton?” “No, but I've seen a wild boar and two black snakes…”

All the overhands on Houghton were inspected for campsites…

“Could you sleep there?” “Not unless I learn to levitate…”

The top of Mount Tarn was a little too windy…

“Look - there it is again!” “Some people will do anything for attention.”

… so we settled for a more sheltered overhang which Bill had found…

“How do you peg down a campfire?”

… where we soon made ourselves comfortable.

“Does a log rate four stars?” “Only if it doesn't roll down hill…”

Next day Judy decided that old pajamas were ideal for warding off scratchy bushes.

“Does she often walk in her sleep?”

Somewhere around the back of Mount Houghton, Bill's compass ran away and refused to return

“… and to think that I always gave it such a good home.”

We climbed up through a narrow slot to admire the views from the top .

“I'll have to give up eating chocolate!”

After skirting the swamp this time, we had morning tea at Styles Creek….

“This is the life!” “Thought you were giving up chocolate?” “Tomorrow…”

… and then struggled on the the next meal, lunch in Hidden Valley.

“Judy, that's the eighth piece of celery you've eaten…”

Our leader took us the easy way us Mount Sturgiss…

“Are you quite sure this is the right way?”

… where we again admired the views…

“… Zow!” “… Megawow!” “I beg your pardon?”

… while Bill and friends did some exploring.

“Hup, one…” “… Two…” “… Three…”

After that, we wandered back to Newhaven Gap in the warm afternoon sunshine.

“Did you enjoy the walk?” “Apart from the unscheduled flights, it was fine…”

"Once again in the Wollangambe."

by Oliver Crawford

Trip to Yarramun/Bungleboori Creek Junction, October '88.

This was basically a repeat of last year's trip on a stinking hot September weekend when we deemed ourselves lucky to find water for our Saturday camp.

This time the route was more economical, the first half being based on an exploratory of a Wollangambe crossing at MR 596923 earlier this year. It proved to be an excellent route, enabling us to reach camp at MR 608993 above the Bungleboori at 2.00 pm, having started at 7.00 am.

Noting the low level of the Wollangambe, the party was encouraged to carry extra water, mindful that the evening's camp was by a non-perennial stream which last time had had plenty of water. This time the stream was dry, but pools of water were found only a few metres downstream where the creek began to canyon.

The wildflowers were at their absolute peak of condition, the yellows, pinks and violets of all those unknown (to me) native shrubs grew about us in profusion. But the most spectacular of all were the blazing red of my favourite, the Waratah, in full bloom, which stood in magnificent isolation shining like beacons against the green background of the general forest.

The afternoon's exploratory was delayed for a time due to a shower of rain lasting about two hours, but by about 4.00 pm three of us set out and followed our creek down, crossing several times, and finishing up on the true right on a ledge looking over a cliff about 60 metres straight down into the Bungleboori. So near and yet so far! So back to camp for the usual pleasant evening lit by a brilliant moon and making plans for tomorrow.

After a glorious sunrise accompanied by bird song, and breakfast completed by 7.30, five of us set off for the next attempt to reach the Bungleboori. We clambered over the adjacent hillock, down the other side and edged toward 'our' creek again, but this time on the western side. A sloping rock face greeted us, which was quite easy, leading to a narrow ledge with a large tree growing against the rock face, the drop below being about 6 metres. We swung around the tree, climbed over some rock in front of us and voila! - a slot presented itself leading straight down to the left below the major cliff line. From there it was just a matter of zig-zagging along scrubby slopes, wombat trails and rock ledges, down a couple more minor rock scrambles and we were there - mission accomplished! Oh, what a feeling!

We dallied for perhaps 15-20 minutes, savouring the moment, and the water, before retracing our steps to camp, which was reached about 9.00 am, and struck camp.

Before leaving the area we went across to the actual Yarramun/Bungleboori junction (at least the lookout over it) where we studied the terrain about us and agreed that yes, the location has a lot to offer for further study. While there a pair of field glasses of 10:1 magnification was produced which aided in observing detail, even to the l½ metre dragon seen sunning itself on the beach directly below us, where I plan to camp next time.

Reluctantly we loaded up and turned for home at about 10.00 am, arriving back at the cars at about 5.00 pm with minor variations on the way. One variation was to pin-point a number of possible helicopter landing sites (what for, you may ask - well, someone might just break a leg). One site at elevation point 873, MR 584951 was so large and flat I believe a Caribou could almost be accommodated.

Another variation was to try a creek down to the Wollangambe. Without putting too fine a point on it, well, it went, but the ridge was easier!

The third variation was that we returned on Sunday evening as planned, an event which will completely ruin my shining image if it becomes a habit. We even preceded members of Bill Holland's Blue Gum walk into the Do Drop Inn by a healthy margin.

Party Members: Peter Caldwell, Oliver Crawford (leader), George Mawer, Jim Rivers, Malcolm Steel, Art Stolz (prospective), Neil Tuffley (prospective).

Walking In England And Wales - Part 3.

by Ainslie Morris & Mike Reynolds

The Dales & The Pennine Way.

Having got into our stride with a few days on the South Downs Way, we then turned our attention to the North of England, where we again combined the opportunity to go walking with a visit to close relatives.

About halfway up the map of Britain, east of the summit ridge of the Pennines, lies Yorkshire. Running east from the Pennines, north of the industrial conurbation of Leeds/ Bradford are a series of rivers which, together with the intervening ranges of hills, form that gem of Northern England, the Yorkshire Dales, and it was to this area that we turned for our second walk on a designated long-distance footpath.

Starting at Ilkley (of Moor baht 'at fame) the Dales Way follows the valley of the River Wharfe northeast through rolling dairy and sheep country almost to the river's source high on the Pennine Hills. Here the way crosses the watershed, drops down into Dent Dale, and continues northwest to finally reach the shores of Lake Windermere in the Lake District, a total of 73 miles.

At the point where the Dales Way crosses the watershed at the head of Wharfedale, it also crosses the Pennine Way running north/south along the spine of England, and we decided to combine about half of the Dales Way with a bit of the Pennine Way by starting from Ilkley, proceeding northwest up the Dales Way to where it crosses the Pennine Way, and then to turn south on the Pennine Way and follow this through the limestone country around Malham to finish at Gargrave, where a regular bus service would take us back to Leeds.

Essential literature for the walk was:-

(1) The Dales Way by Colin Speakman. Published by Dalesman Books 3.50 pounds. A 70 page paperback describing the route in detail, with lots of historical background information.

(2) Dalesway Route Guide by Arthur Gemmell and Colin Speakman. Published by Stile Publications 2.20 pounds - Detailed sketchmaps of the entire Way, with brief notes on historical features.

(3) Dalesway Handbook. Published by West Riding area of the Ramblers Association 60 pence. A booklet listing accommodation, campsites, facilities available in each village passed through, public transport, etc.

(4) There are any number of publications about the Pennine Way. As we were only doing three days on this, we did not want to carry an entire book on it. So we photocopied the appropriate pages from one of them - for reasons of copyright, we had better not tell which one we copied!

(5) The Pennine Way Accommodation and Camping Guide. Published by the Pennine Way Council 60 pence.

(6) Ordnance Survey Maps. Really one should have 1.25000 or 1.50000 maps of the whole walk, but this would add up to a very bulky library of maps. We therefore relied on the sketch maps in the Dalesway Route guide for the early stages of the walk, where our route lay in the valley of the Wharfe, and took the 1.50000 sheet covering the high Pennine area we were to cross. The sketch maps we thought would not be adequate if the weather and visibility deteriorated - how right we were!

As is usual when travelling, it is easy to obtain travel and walking guides and maps in the locality itself. During the walk we also bought a pictorial-type of topographic map called “The Yorkshire Dales National Park”, which showed the overall layout of moors (hills) and dales (valleys). Britain has ten National Parks, of which five are in the North. (The Coast to Coast Walk, east to west, takes in three of these, from the North York Moors N.P. to the Lake District N.P.)

We set out from Ilkley railway station at 10.45 am on 25th July, and in ten minutes had found the track by the seventeenth century stone bridge over the River Wharfe. We were to follow this beautiful clear swift river upstream to its source over the next four days. It was blowing a gale the whole way, and we had to hold on to our hats; indeed, we found out why he was on Ilkley Moor baht 'at (without hat) - it had been blown off. Apart from the gale prevailing from the southwest (a good reason to walk northerly in Britain), it was sunny. We greeted another walker with a large overnight pack; little did we realise that he was to be the only one we would see until we reached the Pennine Way.

[ Map - England & Walks. Based on National Trust 1989 Diary Map. Showing National Parks and routes of Ainslie and Mike's walks. ]

After two miles we came to pretty stone cottages at a weir. The woollen mill workers had lived in them, and they have been restored and bought by the well-off middle-class who either retire to such village cottages, or commute from them long distances to work. We were to see this gentrification and geriatrification in attractive villages in all of the pretty areas of England and Wales. The fine old stone mills themselves are being subdivided into flats or converted to art and craft centres. The Addingham mill escaped destruction by the Luddites in 1829.

We picked our way through the crowd turning up for a funeral at a church on the edge of Addingham. Soon we were back in the fields and climbing over stiles (of which we were to cross countless dozens before our two months in Britain were out). Even with climbing stiles a track over pasture or through woods is, however, preferable to the road. This we were forced on to as we approached Bolton Bridge.

It should be made clear, at this point, that we cannot complain about a few short stretches of narrow dangerous road. The Dales Way did not just happen; it “was originated and developed by the Ramblers' Association in the late 1960's” (Speakman). Negotiation with landowners and cooperation by local councils and National Parks authorities was a long job, for which we have to thank the enthusiastic equivalent of our bushwalkers.

Next we had to cross the busy Harrogate-Skipton road - perhaps safer than fording the swift river as was done in times past. As we strolled by the river we could glimpse Bolton Abbey across the broad pasture, and in our imagination replace the sheep with Prince Rupert's men who spent the night here before the battle of Marston Moor, won by Cromwell.

You may think that was important, but the sheep before our very eyes have far greater significance. If Australia rides on the sheep's back now, how much more did England ride on it over past centuries. Wherever we walked we saw sheep; sheep with curly grooved horns on the Yorkshire moors, sheep with skinny black legs, with grey woolly legs, with Roman noses - all sorts. Now back to Bolton Abbey; as with so many abbeys, income from the sale of wool was used to build its Priory Church. Half of this is intact and still in use today. The other half is a ruin, like other famous abbeys - Tintern, Fountains, Kirkstall (in Leeds).

Some people regard Cromwell (or his soldiers) as vandals on a par with the self-righteous Chinese in the recent Cultural Revolution. Others regard King Henry VIII as the greatest vandal; under his orders at the Dissolution in 1529 the lead roof was removed from Bolton Abbey, and so the fine stonework soon began to weather into the ruin we see today.

As we walked along, the area's history unfolded through the stone buildings: the mill, the abbey, the church, the tower or castle. Wooden buildings have rarely survived to tell a tale, and most of these are the best built medieval houses of hard oak. But before we came to the next man-made - or rather, woman-made - stone structure, we revelled in the more extraordinary glories of nature.

The River Wharfe had been streaming along on our right, thirty feet wide and only six deep; it strangely turns on its side for a short distance, where it is called The Strid. Anyone who dares to jump the six feet across will be sucked down thirty feet and caught under rocky outcrops, to reappear three days later. We rested on the mossy rocks, captivated by the spectacle of rushing water, but soon pushed on. Out of Strid Wood we crossed the old aqueduct footbridge and back over lovely old Barden Bridge to climb the hill to Barden Tower. The tower was restored by Lady Anne Pembroke when she was already over 60 years of age; neither her two useless husbands nor Cromwell had managed to destroy her or her castles, but Barden Tower is now a ruin.

To be continued.

Anyone for canoeing?

On Wednesday 23rd November the Club had a talk about canoeing by Jill Bould, from Canoe & Camping. Jill brought along two canoes, several paddles, literature and lots of different sorts of gear needed for canoeing, and also for bushwalking. Jill explained the different types of canoes used for different kinds of water, also the variety of paddles available. Safety bouyancy jackets and protective helmets (with holes to let the water out) were also shown. Canoeing is a kindred sport to bushwalking, in fact many Club members practice both. It was a most interesting evening - perhaps an eye-opener for some. Thank you, Jill. We did enjoy your demonstration.

Canoe & Camping.

265 Victoria Road, Gladesville, 2111. Phone (02) 817 5590. Hours: Mon-Fri 9-6, Thurs 9-7, Sat 9-4. (Parking at rear off Pittwater Road).

226 Princes Highway, Kogarah Bay, 2217. Phone (02) 546 5455. Hours: Mon-Fri 9-5.30, Thurs 9-7, Sat - 9-4.

A large range of lightweight, quality, bushwalking & camping gear:

  • Lightweight food for backpackers and canoeists
  • Cold weather protection clothing and raingear
  • Maps, books and leaflets
  • Information service for canoeists and walkers
  • Knives
  • Compasses
  • Survival gear

We stock the largest range of canoeing gear in N.S.W.

Quality touring craft of all types. High quality, performance competition craft.

  • A huge range of paddles for all types of canoeing
  • Wetsuits
  • Surf skis
  • All types of spray covers
  • Wide range of jackets & cags
  • Face masks
  • Footwear
  • Many types of buoyancy & life vests
  • Helmets

SBW In The Marquesas Islands - Part 4.

by Frank Rigby

(Part 3 ended when Helen Gray, Barbara Bruce and Joan and Frank Rigby stepped ashore at Hakahau, the main village of the island of Ua Pou.)

“Does anyone have a plan?” This rhetorical question had become standard banter whenever a new phase of our holiday was about to begin. As we walked up the village street I could not take my eyes off those incredible spires (to call them “mountains” would be much too mundane) and I wondered, what could we possibly do with them? Certainly the upper parts were unclimbable but could we somehow reach their bases and camp among them; surely that would be an experience! Or would the spires remain nothing more than a spectacular backdrop, to be admired but never touched?

“That must be Chez Rose Marie”, said Joan, pointing to a house with a verandah covered with tables and chairs. Yes, Rose Marie was happy to give us two rooms at 1,500 French Pacific francs (about A$19) per person per day, any meals extra. It was very basic accommodation but everything, except the local bread and fruit, is expensive in French Polynesia. The big kitchen and the back yard were buzzing with activity. Freshly-slaughtered pigs and piles of fish were being disembowelled, dissected and baked by a small army of workers; breadfruit, bananas, coconuts and other tropical edibles lay everywhere. Our hostess explained that she was the caterer for the Mayor's birthday party to be held that very evening and at which three hundred villagers were expected. I regret to say that stray tourists were not invited.

It was time to look around our new village. We found several stores selling everything from imported canned foods to oil lamps. Yummy ice cream too! Naturally, I found the Snack Bar Vehine, ideal for a cold beer on a hot day. And what's this, a smart boutique of all things, with fancy clothes and fabrics and all sorts of expensive knick-knacks. In one corner we spied casks of Australian wine at, wait for it, the equivalent of $25 each! There must be some well-heeled people around town.

Impossible to miss was the beautiful church in modern style with its carved doors and the most magnificently carved pulpit I have ever seen. Across the street an old wood-fired oven had given way to a modern electric bakery complete with the latest machines; not bad for the backblocks of the Pacific, I had to admit. Public amenities comprised a small hospital, a couple of schools and a secondary college, la Mairie (town hall) de Ua Pou in Polynesian modern, a couple of banks, a post office and a community hall. Brilliant tropical flowers were everywhere and many species of fruit-bearing trees lined the streets. Hakahau was a neat village, perhaps a cut above its counterparts elsewhere in the Marquesas.

Next morning, after a breakfast of pamplemousse, fresh bread sticks and tea with real lime juice we felt we ought to “do something”. But not too much, mind you, for after all this was the terrible tropics. Accordingly we took the road south out of town and turned off to the east coast bay of Hakamoui (nearly everything at Ua Pou begins with “Hak”) because the open green space, the coconut palms and the white beach looked so inviting. The warm surf was just right for an oldie like me so I indulged myself while the patient photographers tried to capture the elusive spires. Now you see one, now you see another, but you never see them all at one time; Ua Pou was obstinately reluctant to yield its secrets.

[ Sketch map of Ua Pou. ]

One day later and we felt that we ought to “do something big”; after all, we were supposed to be bushwalkers. Sitting in an armchair at home with an uncontoured map it was easy to say that we could walk the road/track around the island in a week. Confronted with the reality the picture seemed decidedly different. Firstly there was the climate and secondly there was us. In retrospect I think we had become “islandised” or “tropicalised”, whatever you like to call it. The literature is right; there IS a languor in the South Seas which is contagious. Besides, walking for pleasure is a foreign idea at Ua Pou; for example, the gendarme had told us there were no routes to the spires even though they were a mere four kilometres away! News like that was discouraging. Despite the negatives we decided on a road walk at least to Hakahetau, a village on the north-west side (see map). When on “Aranui” we had observed that the northern end of Ua Pou was devoid of jungle, “le desert” as one Frenchman called it. Well, we could do with a bit of desert for a change. Also, this road would take us up into the hills and, who knows, we might even spy a ridge which could lead us to the spires.

We set off with full packs, sweating up the zig-zag road out of the village. Now that we had gained some height, the central block of great peaks looked more impressive than ever. One could interpret the map as showing eight spires but we never ever did see eight all at once. The swirling mists now uncovered one peak and now another; Oave, the “point culminant” at 1,203 metres was the most reluctant of all to show itself but occasionally the top of this baseless giant would poke out of the clouds and then we would gasp in awe! As we moved laterally to the mountains the vista changed continually and sometimes one spire would be superimposed upon another. The photographers, all four of us, had a field day.

Along the roadside we observed a couple of eucalypts and I wondered how these intruders had found their way to these remote Pacific islands. On reaching the airport we decided to camp. What, camp at an airport? Sure, because campsites in the wild were virtually non-existent and here precious grass grew alongside the sealed strip. Besides, we were hardly likely to be disturbed as there was only one service per week and this was not the day. “There's always a first time for everything,” said Barbara.

Chasing the pigs away we pitched the tents at the seaward end, a view of the spires and a nearby stream and beach all included. What could be nicer? It was also the first time we enjoyed the luxury of a fire, thanks to the piles of driftwood on the beach; otherwise a fire is impossible. The fire alerted the passing traffic (two vehicles) to our presence and since the road passed between airstrip and beach, Yvonne, a teacher returning from a weekend in Hakahau to her school in the next village, was appalled at our primitive living conditions if we rightly understood her French and her horrified expression. “Are you sleeping on the ground with all those dirty pigs?” was probably a fair translation. She invited us to her home where there were “real beds in a real house” but SBW stood firmly by its bushwalking traditions. Fortunately, we were to meet Yvonne again and on that occasion any lingering traditions were cast to the winds.

About noon next day we collapsed into the cool river flowing through the village of Hakahetati, the site of Yvonne's school. The day seemed unusually hot. Along the way Helen had spotted a pretty bay from the road but somehow we lacked the resolution or the energy to tackle a route to it. Similarly, we merely admired the rugged interior without bothering to seriously investigate a way by which it might be reached. The South Seas had us firmly in its grip! There was nowhere to camp in the village but, mercifully, Yvonne found us and this time insisted on us staying in her house like civilised people.

This generous Ua Pouan lady housed and fed us in Polynesian style for two days, during which we managed a day walk to the next village down the west coast; and what a rugged coast it is! Then she gave us a lift back to Hakahatu and an invitation to dinner on our last night on the island; the hospitality was overwhelming but delightful. Meanwhile we had returned to Chez Rose Marie where one could eat and drink on the verandah and watch the world go by; ah, some of those Polynesians are handsome people. Creditably, we used our last two days in an effort to reach the spires, exploring a couple of tracks which led out of the village. These took us to an apiary, the water supply and a clearing for a new house; nothing, but nothing, led to the spires.

retired to the Snack Bar in defeat, having concluded that for the Ua Pouans the magnificent scenery right in their backyard was nothing more than a backdrop.

The day of our departure found us once again at the airport, but with a difference. This was Ua Pou's big day, the DAY OF THE PLANE; it seemed half the population was there. With pigs scattering, the tiny aircraft sped downhill along the runway, just managing to take to the air before plunging into the sea. It is our lucky day. The spires of Ua Pou, now so familiar but nonetheless impressive, disappear from view as we fly into the clouds. It is the end of an interesting experience.


The Walks Program.

By John Porter

Abseiling trip 6/7/8 January to Davies Canyon will not be led by Kenn Clacher (who is off to New Zealand in January) but by Don Finch (te1. 85 2067) and John Porter (te1. 797 9784).

Don't forget that when Christmas holiday trips are over it is time to think of the Autumn Walks Program (March, April, May). This has to go before the February Committee meeting and is posted to members with the February magazine. So - see John Porter in the Clubroom or phone 797 9784 with the walk you plan to lead.

Is This A Footnote?

by Jim Brown

Just a few months back all the Club's pseudo-physicians had their say in the magazine on the subject of “Volley Foot” - which is to say the disagreeable odour when feet and sandshoes have had an intimate relationship for bushwalking.

I would have been the last to deny that there is such a nuisance as Volley Foot Odour. However, it never really worried me, and I ascribe this to two things: first, I was one of the earliest bush walkers to adopt sandshoes and I hesitated to criticize a type of footwear I had promoted: second, my nose has always been relatively useless and I never found any purpose for it until I had to wear spectacles for reading at about 40 years of age. So little did the odour of Volley Foot trouble me I sometimes used my sandshoes to supplement my pack as a pillow - mostly on solo walks, I admit.

Knowing other people are sensitive to the Volley smell, I usually leave a pair of sandshoes that I've worn outside on a back veranda area for a few days, allowing sun and wind to dissipate any noxious exhalations from them. From time to time, however, I have found these outdoor sandshoes either overturned or scattered, and could only assume that poltergeists are not deterred by Volley Foot Odour.

Then I learned what was really happening. Rising soon after dawn one morning I saw the cat from next door on our back veranda. It seized a sandshoe I had discarded there the previous afternoon, clutched it to its breast with both fore-paws and rolled over and over. After wrestling with it for maybe a minute, it dumped the sandshoe some 20 or 30 cm from the partner shoe, gave a sniff (of disgust?) and lit out. Twice since I have seen a similar performance by the same cat.

I now wonder if dogs, with their highly developed sense of smell, can also be encouraged to engage in Volley play. Or maybe I was right all along, and there's no such thing as Volley Foot Odour.

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The November General Meeting.

by Barry Wallace

The President called the meeting to order at around 2011 with some 30 or so members present. There were apologies from Jeff Niven and from Alan and Anita Doherty.

The call for new members brought forth Alan Wiedenbein for welcome in the customary manner and also one Chris Perry, from times past. It appears that my theory last month may need some fine tuning.

The Minutes of last month's meeting were read and received.

Correspondence brought the FBW October Meeting minutes, a letter from the Metropolitan Lands Office in response to our query regarding the closure of the camping ground near the Cathedral of Ferns at Mt. Wilson, and a letter from Tim Moore's private secretary regarding problems which have arisen with the arrangements for the Minister's address to the Club meeting scheduled for late November. It seems that Katoomba Council has ordered the Mt. Wilson camping area closed as it does not comply with the stringent council requirements for camping grounds. Tim Moore is now advised that the House will be in session on the day of the meeting and various alternative arrangements are under discussion.

The Walks Report followed, beginning with the weekend of October 14,15,16. David Rostron's ski touring trip, with its one extra day, was cancelled, but Kenn Clacher reported a party of 9 on his Budawangs area walk. They had fine, windy weather and one or two bushfires, fortunately all downwind of the walk area. Charlie Brown's Budawangs walk was cancelled due to Charlie having suffered a leg injury. Of the day walks, there was no report of Greta Davis' Blue Gum walk but Errol Sheedy led a party of 16 through fine conditions and some scrub to complete his Waterfall to Heathcote walk.

The following weekend, October 21,22,23 saw Ian Debert conducting his Bicentennial Cox River walk from a Saturday lunchtime start. The party of 10 endured some initial rain, but sang on to 1.30 am as conditions improved. Oliver Crawford led a party of 7 on his Wollangambe Wilderness trip, which went to program, and Les Powell led a party of 5 on his Ettrema Creek trip through a cold, wet Saturday to a gloriously fine Sunday. Speaking of Sundays, B111 Holland had managed to arrange good weather for the 18 starters on his Pierce's Pass walk that day.

The weekend of October 28,29,30 saw a successful FBW (St. Johns Ambulance) first aid course. Jan Mohandas' gourmet weekend went, with 19 starters and a most impressive menu. There was no report of Paul Mawhinney's bicycle trip from Woodford to Glenbrook, but Peter Christian had a party of 7 SBW and 23 NPA on his Devil's Wilderness trip. It seems they emerged after dark but whether that was related to the devil, the wilderness, or some other factor is unclear. One thing that was clear, however, was that not all SBW members were carrying torches.

For the weekend of November 4,5,6, there was no report of Jim Oxley's Kanangra walk, but Oliver Crawford led a party of 7 on his walk to Hidden Valley. The rock-scrambling instructional was cancelled, but John Porter and Kenn Clacher ran a successful abseiling instructional on the Sunday. David West's. day walk to Blue Gum went but there was no report. Jim Callaway had 7 starters, some of them struggling a little, on his Engadine to Waterfall trip. It seems the medium-easy classification may have been astray.

The Walks Report was followed by slides taken on various walks, some of which indicated surprising abilities. That shot of someone standing on their head in a canyon was quite amazing.

The Treasurer's Report indicated that we spent $393, acquired income of $260 and closed with a balance of $9675 in round figures. The Federation Report is covered elsewhere in the magazine, but there was some mention of insurances.

Conservation Report, Alex yet again restored to us after the ravages of tennis, brought news of a deputation to senior members of the present State Government. The general impression seems to be that there is a reluctance to further expand park boundaries, and a preference to concentrate on management of existing parks. Bod Carr, Leader of the Opposition, has released statements on the coming problems of the greenhouse effect, and the need to limit coastal developments.

Of General Business there was nought, so we moved to announcements and closed the meeting at 2125.

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Federation of Bushwalking Clubs NSW - Report of November Meeting.

by Spiro Hajinakitas

New Premises: The Environment Centre will be moving to new premises at 39 George Street, The Rocks, and it is not yet known if Federation will have rent-free premises or what space and facilities will be available.

Insurance & Incorporation - Address to the meeting by Patrick Fair, Solicitor from the Law Society: Patrick delivered a comprehensive talk on the advantages of Incorporation and Public Liability Insurance which left no doubt that Clubs, Club Members and Federation itself could face financial ruin if confronted with a law suit for injury or death of a person or damage to property. Of the three policies (1) Commercial Union, (2) Norwich and (3) Gold Medal given to him to study and assess, Patrick considered the latter (Gold Medal) to be the policy most suitable for our needs. Of course he stressed that no policy will cover everything and completely satisfy everyone and it would be essential to go through the policy line by line, word by word, and it would be quite in order to approach the insurance broker to make alterations, make additions or deletions in order to have the policy cover all anticipated contingencies and to be worded in such a way that doubts and vaguenesses both of meaning and definition be eliminated. After answering many questions he was thanked for his time and attendance and the Meeting decided on the following two Motions:-

1.“ (a)-FBW will decide to insure (b) a small group of FBW councillors will take a closer look at the Gold Medal Policy as taken out by the Mt. Druitt Club”.

2.“That Federation will incorporate as an Association with fully paid up Members as Association Members”.

General: Tim Coffey (SBW) is unable to accept the position of FBW Delegate to NCC. Volunteers to fill this position urgently needed. (2) NSW Cave Rescue Group inviting FBW to participate in their 15th Annual Rescue Weekend at Bungonia 18/19 March '89. (3) NPWS Plan of Management of New England Nat. Park. (4) NCC inviting applications for position as Director. (5) Request we write to Mr. Greiner in support the South-East Forest Alliance boycotting the Govt's impact statement on woodchipping. (6) NPWS South East Region - invitation to establish liaison with bushwalking clubs. (7) CMW Club requesting from Committee (a) Specific aims and objectives of FBW and (b) How does FBW propose to meet these aims and objectives?

The SBW Dingo (?) Story.

by Kath Brown

Last June David Rostron led a party of SBW members on a walking trip in the Macdonnell Ranges in Central Australia. When near the Ormiston Gorge, while the party were having dinner around the campfire, a tent was raided by animals. Food was taken but also a sleeping bag. The unfortunate visitor from Melbourne, Stuart Osborne, had a cold night although he was lent spare clothing and a tent to wrap around himself.

Next morning the party searched for about one kilometre around the camp but found only a one kilo packet of oatmeal although three had been taken as well as a length of salami sausage (and the sleeping bag). So the party packed up and continued on their walk. About two or three km from their campsite they saw something red among the rocks - it was the missing sleeping bag, discarded by the animal as inedible! It had toothmarks on the cover bag but was not otherwise damaged. What a relief for Stuart! No food, however, was found. The animal that dragged the sleeping bag all that distance must have felt rather disappointed.

Considering the toothmarks and location the animal(s) were thought to be dingos. Makes you think, doesn't it!


A story which deserves the light of day. On a recent walk with 29 walkers, a combination of SBW and NPA, which finished at about 10 pm or 11 pm only THREE torches were available. See the note below on Christmas presents.

Christmas presents for bushwalkers. If you're quick and nimble there is still time to knit the balaclava that was in the November magazine. A torch seems to be a good idea for many of us. They need only be small, a couple of size AA batteries is the norm. Prices range from about $2 at Woollies up to about $40 for a metal cased torch with super bulb.

Another possible present is the publication “Fitzroy Falls and Beyond”; talk to Helen Gray about this. Alex Colley is selling the annual best seller and in high demand “Wilderness Callender”. Club T-shirts are still available and at $7 each are good value. A limited number of copies of our megga best seller “The Sydney Bush Walkers, the First Sixty Years” are still available. These make excellent presents.

The search for other club rooms continues. Two were inspected on 23 November, together they were of the following: too big, too small, too dear, too noisy, too far from trains and too bad for parking.

The status of our serials is as follows: The Parley Vous Bush Walking team having exhausted all their francs hard earned and time valuable fly back to the smoke blue just before they were about to fall victim to the languor South Seas and so this epic writing is completed. On the other side of the world “When a Girl Marries (an Englishman and has to go walking if the UK)” continues over the hills and dales drinking scrumpy, worst bitter and eating cold meat pies.

What you missed. The meeting with the Minister for the Environment. Eighty-four members packed the Clubroom for our “Meet the Minister” meeting. A sight to behold. Eighty-four SBW's scrubbed, polished and dressed up and well-behaved. Standing up to formally welcome the Minister, then sitting and paying full attention to the questions and answers.

What you should not miss. The Christmas party on 21 December. Come early with a plate of goodies, sweet or savoury, and leave late. If you only go on walks and never to the Clubroom this is your opportunity to show others that you do have more clothing than just that old pair of shorts, that you do scrub-up well and look fine in a dress or long trousers as the case may be.

And the Club provides the drinks!!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

198812.txt · Last modified: 2019/04/26 12:44 by tyreless

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